So you purchased a silver piece of jewelry from MANOS. When you wore it for the first time it had a nice lustor. It was shiny and reflected the light nicely when you were in the sun. Great investment for your first silver jewelry piece. Months go by and you see that it's starting to turn black. Leaving a stain on your skin, sometimes on your clothes. Wait...does that mean you need to buy a new one? Is this even real silver?
Why your sterling silver is turning black
Just to know, the effect of tarnish is natural. Silver’s a metal that reacts to chemicals. Whether it be chemicals in the air, or chemicals touching it. Wearing it for sometime the lotions, oils from our skin and even your cologne may react to the natural metal. Notice that when you wear your silver everyday you usually won't notice the external properties that are affected on a microscopic level.
“Yea, but this is good quality silver” you say to yourselfIt has the .925 hallmark stamp on it. "Why is this still happening?” Well, we need to take a brief moment to look into a few qualities about 925 sterling silver.
925 sterling silver usually contains copper and reacts to the hydrogen sulfide in the air and causes sterling silver to tarnish. Copper can produce a patina when introduced to sulfides. A thin layer that variously forms on the surface of copper, brass, bronze and similar metals. That 7.5% of copper can make a very durable silver, but is still sensitive to its environments.
So what if it was PURE silver, would the same thing occur?
Not quite. Pure silver usually does not react in a pure oxygen environment, but that is not our case. Most jewelry also has a thin layer of silver that will slowly wear off eventually. If you have any MANOS pieces in your collection, you most likely wear them everywhere, right?
What will happen after a contact with water?“Well, I noticed after the shower it was darker and less shiny as before” Ok you don't have to panic, as water may not be harmful for your silver chain, but it will cause the silver to tarnish after sometime.
There is chlorine, salts and other harsh chemicals in the water. So showering with your silver piece or swimming in the ocean in Bali can cause the same reactions. All this is starting to sound like too much alchemy.
What else can I do to prevent such reactions to the silver?
You have to take some simple steps to keep your jewelry clean and shiny. It will not prevent your jewelry from completely tarnishing, but it is sure to delay the process. Even where you store and place your jewelry is important. The moisture in the air can affect your silver over time.
When should you take your sterling silver jewelry off?
If it is possible, taking off the silver chain before entering the jacuzzi is recommended. That will give your silver more time to keep its shine. If you forget to take it off though, be aware it's quite easy to clean away the dark gunk that is building up around your piece of jewelry.
Being more aware yourself and your silver accessories can be the best thing you can doIt may seem like a lot, but then again, maintaining that well trimmed beard seemed like too much before you started receiving more compliments. So just meditate on that idea. The things we pay close attention to in our life allow some sort of deep feeling of reward. It represents care and detail that all of us can attribute to our lifestyle. First two steps to wisdom are knowledge and experience.
Then everything becomes a little less complicated.
Taking care of your silver becomes a type of bonding ritual with your jewelry that will ensure you a shine that will last a lifetime. It's completely worth the effort if you want to have a longer lasting sterling silver collection. Now that you have a better understanding of chemistry and the hidden value of silver.
You are on your way to becoming a true alchemist.